In partnership with Paboco and the three other companies in the Paboco Pioneer Community, Coca-Cola has revealed a first-generation prototype of its paper bottle.

The company has not yet realised its ultimate goal of creating a 100% paper-based bottle, as the structure of the prototype consists of a paper shell with a plastic closure and a plastic liner inside.

While the plastic used is 100% recycled and can be recycled again after use, the company aims to eventually create a paper bottle that can be recycled like any paper. Coca-Cola says that the next step is to find a solution to create a bottle without the plastic liner.

“Our vision is to create a paper bottle that can be recycled like any other type of paper, and this prototype is the first step on the way to achieving this. A paper bottle opens up a whole new world of packaging possibilities, and we are convinced that paper packaging has a role to play in the future,” says Stijn Franssen, EMEA R&D packaging innovation manager at Coca-Cola, who is working on the project.

Just like other types of packaging, a paper bottle of the future must adhere to the same high safety and quality standards for food and drink packaging that currently apply. Stijn and this team are putting the bottle through testing in a lab to see how it performs in the refrigerator, how strong it is, and how well it protects the beverage inside.

“We also reflect on how our consumers will react to this paper bottle. Topics like when and where it could be sold and how it can be recycled are all considered. The bottle must be explored from every perspective to ensure that we make the bottle the best it can be,” concludes Stijn.